Tag Archives: Mike Penning MP

ADS Group Council member welcomes Home Office report on forensic science

Elizabeth Sheldon (Aerospace, Defence and Security Group Council member and CEO of Evidence Talks) has welcomed the publication of a Home Office report entitled ‘Forensic Science Strategy – A National Approach to Forensic Science Delivery in the Criminal Justice System.’

Drawing attention to some of the key conclusions in the report, Sheldon has identified the case for “real-time forensics to be at the heart of a new approach” as an encouragement to police forces to step up the use of techniques such as digital triage and reduce the backlog of cases.

“The report talks of a new vision which could enable a single forensic deployment to cover all requirements; from traditional evidence recovery to digital triage and basic crime reporting,” explained Sheldon. “It also stresses the importance of a consistent national approach, and anticipates an improvement in the delivery time of results and swifter criminal justice outcomes.”

ElizabethSheldon

Sheldon (pictured above) points towards supportive research on such observations, citing the paper from Overill, Silomon and Roscoe published by Elsevier in 2013 and entitled: ‘Triage Template Pipelines in Digital Forensic Investigations’ which drew attention to the burgeoning use of digital devices as a prime driver of the need for greater use of digital forensics by the police service.

The report included the following statement: ‘The very reliance of digital devices for the conduct of most people’s daily professional and personal lives has led to an overload on digital forensic examination resources.’

By way of an example, it refers to figures from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Digital Electronics and Forensics Service showing some 38,000 digital devices per annum being received for examination by a team of 80 staff.

Skills and technical capabilities

In a further reference to the Home Office report, Sheldon says the Home Office is right to focus on the fact that “the crime scene investigators need the skills and technical capabilities to allow forensic information to be collected and processed at scene and directed to the most appropriate database or end user.”

The good news, explains Sheldon, is that technology and training is readily available from industry specialists allowing police forces to get up-to-speed. Such solutions can be used by non-technical operators, after relevant training, to quickly and safely investigate the contents of devices within the desired charging time frame.

In summing up, Sheldon quotes from the Ministerial Foreword to the Home Office report, which is written by Mike Penning MP, the Minister for Policing, Fire and Criminal Justice and Victims. Penning states: “Digital technology has transformed how we live our lives. We need to ensure that those responsible for our protection continue to have the capabilities to investigate crime in this new technological age.”

Penning’s call to reshape the current landscape towards a modern forensic science provision, believes Sheldon, will be greeted with equal enthusiasm by police forces and the supplier community.

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Home Office plans next stage of engagement with suppliers on ESN

The Home Office has announced that it will be engaging with suppliers on detailed requirements for the new Emergency Services Network (ESN).

A Prior Information Notice has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union stating that the UK Government Department will engage suppliers regarding four separate parts of the contract for the new ESN, namely user devices, air-to-ground service and devices, vehicle installation and Control Room upgrades.

Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims Mike Penning said: “A modernised communications network is vital to help the emergency services protect the public and save lives. We are on track to deliver this critical part of our national infrastructure by 2017.”

The MP added: “We have seen strong interest in providing the new emergency services network and its supporting elements. I’m confident that the organisations we select will create a communications network that’s the best in the world.”

The Home Office has unveiled further plans for the Emergency Services Network

The Home Office has unveiled further plans for the Emergency Services Network

Tenders for the contracts will be submitted in the near future and will then be subject to detailed evaluation. Contracts will be awarded in 2015 and the new ESN will go live from 2017 as existing contracts expire.

The new network is being developed in close partnership with the emergency services and will add broadband data capabilities that will help save lives. Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-emergency-services-mobile-communications-programme

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Officer in life-threatening Samurai sword stand-off wins national Police Bravery Award

Sergeant Stephen Brown of the Metropolitan Police Service, who tackled and disarmed a man trying to slash him with a Samurai sword, has deservedly won a prestigious national Police Bravery Award.

With only his baton and CS spray to protect himself, and on his own, Sergeant Brown found himself fighting for his life as the man repeatedly swung the sword at his face and neck while ignoring orders to put the weapon down.

When the suspect swung for the officer again, Sergeant Brown discharged CS spray into the man’s face. The officer quickly moved towards his assailant and, while the sword was in the air, struck the man’s arm with his baton three times. On the third hit the man dropped the sword and fell to the floor.

Sergeant Brown immediately jumped on top of the man and was then joined by colleagues in restraining the individual. The offender was still struggling violently before being arrested after the incident, which occurred on Christmas Eve 2012 in north London.

Earlier that evening, the offender had repeatedly stabbed a woman. After he was detained by Sergeant Brown and his colleagues, officers discovered that the bag he was carrying contained an arsenal of weapons.

National Police Bravery Award

For his diligence and skill, Sergeant Brown has won the national Police Bravery Award. He was presented with the trophy at a ceremony held in central London attended by Home Secretary Theresa May, policing minister Mike Penning and Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM in addition to other dignitaries.

Earlier in the day, Sergeant Brown joined 65 of his colleagues from 31 police forces around the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and designed to recognise their heroic acts of bravery.

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Sergeant Stephen Brown and Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The actions of Sergeant Stephen Brown are a powerful reminder of the commitment and courage that police officers bring to their role. Sergeant Brown put his own life in danger to defuse a terrifying situation. His intervention protected members of the public and may well have saved the lives of others. We should reflect on the bravery shown by all the officers nominated and that displayed by all police officers in the course of their duties each day.”

Speaking about the prestigious award, Sergeant Brown commented: “I feel overwhelmed. Other people deserve it more and I feel very honoured to have won this award. I would do exactly the same thing again and it’s what every officer would have done in that situation.”

He continued: “The man needed to be tackled there and then. The woman he had attacked was innocent and unknown to him. He needed to be stopped. This is what we do as police officers. People call it brave but it’s just part of the job.”

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I’m constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day-to-day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the national Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more occurring in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”

Stephen Mann, CEO at Police Mutual, stated: “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations and act with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage.”

Mann concluded: “Police Mutual is honoured to continue its sponsorship of the national Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year, and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”

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Home Office rewards police innovation with £50 million fund

The Home Office has announced that every police force in England and Wales will receive its share of a £50 million Home Office fund for projects aimed at transforming policing through innovation and collaboration.

The successful schemes have included investment in body-worn cameras, ground-breaking forensics techniques and joint working between the police and the fire service.

Forces were awarded money for new approaches to tackling anti-social behaviour and rural crime, a project to help young runaways and work designed to improve the way in which the police service interacts with individuals who have mental health problems.

Mike Penning MP

Mike Penning MP

New policing minister Mike Penning MP said: “I’m delighted that every police force in the country showed such a positive, forward-thinking attitude and came to us with new ideas and ways of working. It meant we could allocate £50 million to some really innovative projects, and I’m already looking forward to visiting forces and seeing the results.”

Penning added: “Crime has fallen by more than 10% under this Government. I believe we can help the police do their job even better by encouraging them to embrace new technology and build on ideas coming from the grass roots.”

The Police Innovation Fund

The Police Innovation Fund is in its first full year of operation and up to £50 million will be allocated every 12 months.

Earlier this year, the Home Office made a precursor fund of £20 million available to Police and Crime Commissioners.

Each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales will benefit from the fund in 2014.

Among the most innovative of the 85 proposals to receive funding this time were:

*a joint bid of £431,000 by Nottinghamshire Police and Lancashire Police to reduce the processing time for a DNA profile from four or five days to two hours
*eight forces – Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire, the Met, Hampshire, Durham, the City of London, Merseyside and North Wales – will share more than £4 million to spend on body-worn camera technology
*the Metropolitan Police Service successfully bid for £113,000 to help develop a new spray which will be able to quickly identify body fluids at crime scenes

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